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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Tourism Talk

Evansville nets ‘really positive remarks’ during state tourism conference

Evansville last week hosted the Indiana Tourism Association‘s annual conference for the first time, and for Explore Evansville, it was a whirlwind opportunity to showcase the city for more than 250 industry professionals.

Explore Evansville CEO Alexis Berggren says the event at Bally’s Evansville left her and her staff “very tired” but happy with how everything went.

“Anytime you have that number of eyes, people who are in the same business you’re in, assessing your community, it’s a high-pressure situation,” Berggren says. “But we got really positive remarks about the Downtown and the conference overall.”

For Explore Evansville and others who work locally in tourism, hosting the conference “highlighted the potential for our hospitality community in Evansville,” Berggren says, “while reminding us to continually raise our standards, increase expectations, and enhance service levels to ensure we are delivering exceptional experience for all of our visitors.”

The Indiana Tourism Association opens a request for proposals process for communities interested in hosting the conference. Evansville learned at last year’s event in Elkhart County that it had secured the 2024 event.

Fort Wayne, Indiana, learned last week that it will host in 2025.

Conferees heard from Indiana-born author Philip Gulley and several local, state, and national tourism industry experts.

Since the conference was in Downtown Evansville, that is where the conferees spent most of their time. Adam Morris, co-owner of Your Brother’s Bookstore on Main Street, enjoyed chatting with several who stopped in, including Laura Kendall, owner and manager of Second Flight Books in Lafayette, Indiana.

“The thing about people who own bookstores is when we go out of town, we find bookstores,” Morris says. “It is like what are they doing that I can do, in a way. The bookstore community is all about helping each other … we talked a long time, and it was really beneficial for me as a business owner.”

Morris also relished sharing ideas with guests who own other types of Downtown businesses in their communities.

“We had a lot of conversations about traffic and bringing people to the area,” he says. “I got so much information from it.”

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Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen is the managing editor of Evansville Living and Evansville Business magazines.

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